Korean businesses no exception to damages from Baltimore riots

April 29, 2015
Jason Park, left, and his friend business owner Sung Kang, second left, leave his damaged store, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in the aftermath of rioting following Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. The violence that started in West Baltimore on Monday afternoon had spread to East Baltimore and neighborhoods close to downtown and near Camden Yards.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jason Park, left, and his friend business owner Sung Kang, second left, leave his damaged store, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in the aftermath of rioting following Monday’s funeral for Freddie Gray. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By The Korea Times Washington DC staff

As Baltimore faces the repercussions of two days of riots that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, Korean American businesses in the city are finding losses alongside the rest of the community.

According to KAGRO (Korean American Grocers Association) International Tuesday, 22 Korean-owned businesses saw damages from rioters. Not included are businesses that were unable to be reached, it said.

Fireside Liquor, one such business, was plundered and set on fire, resulting in the destruction of its interior. Another liquor store, Uptown, suffered an injury to its owner, who was reportedly taken to and treated at a local hospital after being assaulted by rioters.

Kang Sung-ku, 49, the owner of the Oxford Tavern, saw his business pillaged by rioters and protesters and, eventually, his ATM torn out and taken.

Kang said he has only owned the business for a year and that he does not know how much in damages insurance will cover.

A liquor store owner, Cho Chang-hyun, said he pleaded with rioters to stay away from taking items from his store on Monday night but that some tried to enter through a wall from an empty building next door.

The Korean Society of Maryland and KAGRO have begun plans to fundraise for Korean business owners who suffered damages during the riots.

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